DIY Shaking Bottles for Toddler Learning and Entertainment

I first found out about these DIY Shaking Bottles from a stay-at-home Dad/friend, who made them for his son to enjoy.  He also makes them and gives them out as gifts.     I love a toddler activity that’s easy, looks great and provides opportunities for learning too!

I’ve had my eyes peeled for a number of weeks, looking for the perfect bottles to make a set of shaking bottles of our own.  I finally found some at during a trip to a salvage grocery store.   Whoohoo!  Hopefully these will help entertain our youngest during a long road trip coming up.
Shaking bottles for toddlers

What you need to make your own Shaking Bottle Toddler Toy:

  • Some small, fun bottles
  • Gorilla Glue
  • a variety of “fillers”: water, food colouring, hair gel, dish soap, oils, silica balls, coloured rice, tissue paper etc.
  • Collection of stuff to put in your bottles: charms, beads, glitter, small plastic toys, buttons, etc.

rice and craft foam in small bottle

 Bottle filled with coloured rice and craft foam pieces.

How to make your Shaking Bottle:

  • Add the charms, beads, etc.
  • Top off your bottle with water/liquid or whatever filler you’ve chosen
  • Glue the lid back on

bottle filled with hair gel and glass beads

Hair gel and glass vase fillers or beads.

I had used hot glue before and rubber cement, even super glue, for our “I Spy Rice Jars”.   The problem with hot glue and rubber cement is that it is malable.   The problem with super glue is its ability to crack.   My son was able to open the jars given enough time and boredom (both in abundance during road trips) using all those other glues.   Gorilla Glue is really tough!   So far we’ve used it to put back together magnets, plastic doll heads, toy cars, etc.   Its great stuff.     I think I’ve finally found a glue that works!

bottle filled with orange water and beads

Water, food colouring and craft beads.

Hand your toy to your toddler to shake, bang and bite to their hearts content!   Even my older preschoolers enjoy these bottles!   We play can you find the “dime” or whatever, it is a great way to keep them active on a trip.   Hopefully, these will remain in one piece.

shaking a bottle of blue water and soap

Water, blue food colouring and dish soap.

 I know these are pretty popular.   Have you made one?   Feel free to leave a link to your shaking bottle in the comments and I’ll include it in an updated version of this post!

set of four shaking bottles


  1. I’ve made these before when my daughter was about 6 months old. I used plastic water bottles and filled them with glitter and sequins and then added water and a few drops of food coloring. What I really loved about them was the fact they rolled and she learned to crawl after them. Alot fun and so easy!
    .-= Candi @ Family Stamping and FOOD!´s last blog ..And the winner is… =-.

  2. Thanks for the tip about the glue. I really want to find something that works too. The bottles look super cute, I’ll be on the lookout for good choices as well now.
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..Science of the Dead Sea =-.

  3. I absolutely LOVE this- and the gorilla glue tip is super becuase I was totally thinking my daughter would open up the bottle and shake it all out! But I have never tried gorilla glue- so that may be the saving grace for us!

    Totally gonna do this! Great tips!
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Blog in which I attempt to Garden ¦. =-.

  4. Wow, this is great! My daughter has sensory issues and I’m sure something like this would be a great addition to her personal toy chest as well as her classroom toy chest. Thanks for the tute!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Progress Report: 2 months =-.

  5. Super interesting. I’ve seen Gorilla Glue used all the time even for heavy duty repairs. Do you know what are those bottles called? I’ve never seen anything like them before.

  6. Dark Molly says:

    If I’ll use clear silicone gel to lock it up from the inside and the thread? Do you think it’ll work? And is it still safe?

  7. Jane Cooper says:

    Ooh wow, I’m going to make my kindergarten class do this! Cheers.
    -Jane from BMW for Sale

  8. This is a great idea! We used to use all kinds of empty plastic bottles for our kids and fill them with dried pasta, plastic beads and anything else that was lying around. It also served the useful additional purpose of getting anything small and dangerous away from the kids and into a bottle with a sealed lid!

  9. I love the concept, and also the bottles. I am asking pretty much the same question as Natalie where did you get the cute little bottles with the red top. It seem just the right size for a 16 month old to hold. I would like to get those bottles.

  10. Hello did you get the answer to what kind of cute little bottles are these?

  11. “I first found out about Shakey Bottles from a stay-at-home Dad/friend, he made them for his son to enjoy and also gave them out as gifts. I loved the concept and have had my eyes peeled for a number of weeks, looking for the perfect bottles! I finally found some at during a trip to a salvage grocery store. Whoohoo! Time to make our Shaking bottles! Hopefully these will help entertain our youngest during a long road trip coming up.”

    These things look really beautiful. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. just wanted to point out that the comments on here are awful. You might want to clean these up at some point so casual browsers like me can actually have a conversation.updating your blog

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  13. Pat Matera says:

    For added safety, instead of water , you might consider using white vinegar. It has a less desirable taste so if the kids do get the top off they would be less likely to drink it….we used to do this with the water game toys back in the 70’s and 80’s after a cousin’s child became sick from drinking the water out of one of the toys.

  14. I know arn’t they great! I love them!

  15. This is an amazing idea! My children will surely love them and I could make some, too for friends’ kids.

  16. For anyone (like me) that stumbles upon this now…found the awesome bottles by Y Water:

  17. Thank you! i use to get thee when i was little could never remember the name and have been looking for them for years!

  18. THANK YOU! i use to get these when i was little and have been looking for them for years but came up empty!

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